GMIT Religious Studies degree programme marks 25th anniversary

Information Evening on Monday 3 September, 6.30pm in GMIT Galway


Press Office

Date Article Written: 

Friday, August 10, 2018

GMIT’s acclaimed degree programme in Religious Studies is approaching its twenty-fifth anniversary and begins its next cycle in September 2018. A special open evening about the course will take place in the GMIT Galway campus (room 1034) on Monday, 3 September, at 6.30pm.

Bringing a fresh eye and an open approach to the study of religion, the programme sets out to create a space for those whose engagement with religion is thoughtful and exploratory. 

Programme Chair, Barry McMillan, says: “Where religion is concerned today, a clear option, on the one hand, is withdrawal into fundamentalism or, on the other hand, dismissal of religion as an anachronism. Here at GMIT, we offer a learning space for those people who find themselves somewhere in the middle, thirsty for knowledge and insight, and underserved by either of the extremes.”

In a number of ways, the programme is a marker of GMIT’s pioneering commitment to meeting educational needs. It is designed to be as accessible to as many people as possible, being delivered on a flexible learning basis, two evenings a week per academic semester. In addition, support for those returning to academic study or those inexperienced in academic study is built into the programme. The lecturing team on the programme are holders of GMIT’s President’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

“In a time of pluralism, secularism, and religious extremism, it is increasingly important for people to understand the phenomenon of religion, the beliefs and practices of the major religious traditions, and to be able to discuss and consider these in an informed and balanced fashion.” says Mr McMillan.

“The programme offers insights into a number of great religious, ethical, and cultural traditions. Students explore their own beliefs in light of other faiths, other cultures, and other academic disciplines. It is a rich educational experience.”

“The simplest way for people to get a sense of what we’re offering is to search for ‘religious studies’ on the GMIT website. There they’ll find an outline of the course content and some testimonies of those who have studied on the programme. At the information evening in September we’ll go into everything in detail.” adds Mr McMillan.

Those who have recently completed their studies on the programme have much to say. 

Mary O’Malley from Galway describes the programme as, “a hugely transformative experience.”
“The topics are diverse and incredibly enriching, and are structured so that each one is delivered in ways that are easy to understand. The incredible support I received from my lecturers made it possible for me to discover that I was more than capable of achieving my goals.” 

Michael Brown, also from Galway, is similarly enthusiastic: “I learned so much about my own religion, but also about other religions and psychology and philosophy. I have grown so much. The course has equipped me with a more articulate way of thinking and expressing myself. I feel I now have the tools to talk to people of any religion or no religion.”

Peter Hynes characterises his studies as “extremely interesting and enjoyable,” and Pauline Staunton describes her experience as going “far beyond any expectations I had. The support of the lecturers was outstanding; they took each student where they were at and encouraged and enabled them to expand their skills and their horizons. I would strongly recommend this course.”

Anyone interested in this programme of study can obtain more information by emailing the Programme Chair at or phoning 091 742472. Information is also available from the GMIT Lifelong Learning Office at 091 742528. Places on the programme are limited to twenty. Read what students and graduates have to say, and programme details, here:


Issued by Regina Daly, GMIT Communications Officer
Tel 091 742826/ 087-9618355 (m) email: